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One day isn’t enough to tick everything off the list, there’s no denying that. However, if 1 day is all you have and want to do some of the ‘old Taipei’, then here are my recommendations.
Blue skies, the sun is beating down, you’ve arrived at Taipei Main Station 台北車站 fresh off the train, what do you do now? Well, the nature of my posts tends to revolve around food. So, it would be rude not to indulge in some food straight away, right?
Go to Exit M6 from Taipei Main Station, and turn right out of the exit. You’re there. Hawker Chan’s. Here, you’re in front of the least expensive Michelin Starred food in the world. Yes, it may not be the original stall which won Mr Chan his Michelin Star. But, he opened it up here and uses the original recipes from his stall all the way over in Singapore. He teamed up with Hersing who invested $1millionUSD to bring his food to the masses, and boy are we thanking everyone involved for doing that!
If Singaporean food isn’t your fancy, then check out Tim Ho Wan for some delicious Cantonese Dim Sum. Exit M8, turn left, cross the street, and you’re there. Happy days!
However, if it’s Taiwanese food you’re after, I can’t really recommend anywhere particularly noteworthy around Taipei Main Station. My suggestion: get in a taxi and head to DiHua Street 廸化街 Dí huà jiē. (if you can’t say it, then just show them your phone. I still do it for some places, as it is faster and there’s more of a chance you’re going to end up in the right place. Ain’t no shame in that!).
How are you with oysters? Love ’em? Good, who doesn’t? Well, you’re in luck, As these deep fried oysters with rice noodle soup are the bomb! (they’re so cheap, too – the equivalent of £1.30/$1.65).
Alright, so, you’re fed. Now where?
Well, we have perhaps another couple of hours before you’re feeling like you could eat again. If you’re around Taipei Main Station then I suggest a quick trip to DiHua Street 廸化街 Dí huà jiē. Whilst it may not be the close quarter, Tech savvy, trendy and popular area that you may have envisaged Taipei to be, it ticks all the boxes for a traditional-style Taiwanese street, in the capital nonetheless.
(I actually wrote an article on DiHua Street for Travelog 7 Reasons to visit DiHua Street)
In the mood for a snack on DiHua Street? Here are my picks:
- 顏記杏仁露 What to order – 杏仁露 Xìngrén lù – Cold almond flavoured pudding with ice.
- 爐鍋咖啡 Luguo Cafe What to order – Anything for your coffee fix
- 夏樹甜品 Summer Tree Sweet What to order – 杏仁豆腐雪花冰 Xìngrén dòufu xuěhuā bīng – Almond tofu with snowflake ice.
From DiHua Street, a quick walk to MRT ShuangLian Station northbound to YuanShan could be a good shout. You can go and check out the Confucius Temple. If you do go there, then a prime snack for you on a hot summer day would be some sort of ice from 采吉軒紅豆專門店 just round the corner from the temple.
It’s possibly time to go and get some souvenirs or some snacks to take back with you, wherever you hail from. If you didn’t pick any ‘traditional’ snacks, then I would say SongShan Cultural Creative Park could be a good option for you.
Set in an old tobacco factory, SongShan Cultural Creative Park often have events within the grounds, and is an interesting place to wander around, regardless of whether there’s an event or not. There’s a lake where you can have your lunch next to, and a big department store where you can find clothes, souvenirs, books, and food. If you want a snack, look no further than WuPaoChun bakery 吳寶春麥方店, WuPaoChun offer up an impressive selection of bread and pastries using seasonal Taiwanese ingredients. It gets busy, but it’s worth the wait.
When you’ve finished up there, go and check out the upper floors. There are lots of tea stores with impressive selections of hand-made teapots and cups. There’s also quite a few stalls within the complex selling hand-made leather, metal, woodwork goods, too – they do DIY classes, too. It’s an interesting space, with lots to see – especially a nice place with A.C!
By this point, it’s definitely time to check out Taipei’s oldest nightmarket – RaoHe.
I’m going to tell you what to eat through pictures, so enjoy:
By this time, you’ve been around Taipei, you’ve eaten your fill at the nightmarket, and you’re probably getting ready to head back home. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour. A day isn’t enough, so I will post more day trips around Taipei in the near future.